Lowcountry Food Scene

ROCKFISH SEAFOOD & STEAKS SETS ITS SIGHTS ON AN ISLAND INSTITUTION

Happy hour is a Lowcountry tradition. On an island baked by the sun and surrounded by cool ocean waves, the entire day revolves around the moment we can cast off the shackles of the office and enjoy a nice cold drink in the sunshine.

So when a restaurant lays claim to the best happy hour, it’s not something we take lightly. That’s a line in the sand, a declaration of superiority that demands attention. Stacey Romoser of Rock Fish Steaks & Seafood at Bomboras knows this well. And yet, she stands firm:

THERE’S MORE TO MEXICAN FOOD THAN TACOS AND MARGARITAS

Ask any native Hispanic speaker: There really isn’t one cuisine that classifies as “Mexican,” just like there’s no such thing, really, as “American” food. Just like here in the U.S. Mexico’s food varies by region — and there are plenty of flavors packed into the country’s roughly 760,00 square miles, home to lush mountain ranges, wide rivers, deserts and islands. And just like the diverse landscapes, the dishes of each region are unique.

CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF HERITAGE WITH CLASSIC APPETIZERS

It seems 1969 was a big year for both golf and gourmet. It was the first year of the tournament that would become the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. And it was the year “The Galloping Gourmet with Graham Kerr” first hit TV airwaves and the 11th edition of the “Betty Crocker Cookbook” was released. Home cooks were serving up pigs in blankets, cheese puffs, oysters Rockefeller, Lipton onion dip and nut-ecrusted cheese logs. Other retro dishes still are popular, like fondue, and shrimp cocktail featuring local shrimp is always a hit.

The Hayes Family: (left-right) Evan, Skylar, Ali, Brinkley, Andrea, Damian, Brooke holding Easton and her husband Evan.

Damian Hayes came down to Hilton Head Island from Virginia and soon found himself bartending and managing restaurants. He then opened the first British Open Pub in 1998, on Hilton Head Island, in the Village at Wexford.

“I opened the British Open Pub as a golf-themed restaurant to pay homage to the champion golfers of the (British) Open Championship,” says Hayes. The Titleist Bar, an idea he came up with, of a golf ball bar with all the autographed pictures of the champions inlaid in the bar, has brought a lot of golfers in. “During the Heritage, the players come to the restaurant and it’s fun for the customers and staff to see them.” says Hayes.

crab

Surrounded by the natural bounty of Lowcountry waters, it’s only natural that Daufuskie would perfect its deviled crab recipe. Following instructions passed down through generations, the residents of this small Sea Island all chipped in to produce the delicacy. Crabs were brought from the boats to waiting schoolchildren, who would pick them clean after school.

Wine pairing is both an art and a science—just ask a sommelier. It's important to seek a balance in the wine's components (fruit, acid, alcohol, sweetness, and tannin), and the food's overt and subtle qualities. A great wine pairing is about more than just flavor—texture, weight, structure, and bouquet of both wine and food also come into play. Monthly asked top tier restaurants on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton to recommend a wine to enjoy with some of their signature dishes.

TRADITIONAL NATIVE ISLANDER DISHES ADD TO OUR LOCAL FLAVOR

Most Gullah recipes have remained unchanged over the decades, passed down from generation to generation. As a “cumya,” the Gullah word for a non-native islander, I knew very little about traditional Gullah dishes. I had tried menu mainstays like collard greens and fried chicken, but I didn’t know how to prepare them — at least, not until Louise Cohen welcomed me into her kitchen to give me a tutorial for an article I was writing. I arrived armed with ingredients like collards and smoked turkey wings, and we spent a few hours bonding over a simmering pot on the stove.